ONE of Sunderland’s creative hot-spots will roll out the red carpet for screenings of bite-sized blockbusters, this May.

The Place, in Sunniside, has been chosen as the venue to screen a selection of films shortlisted for competition in this year’s Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.

The Siglion-owned city centre venue will welcome filmmakers from across the globe, when the curtain raises on the festival on May 4.

With 54 mini masterpieces shortlisted for Sunderland Shorts, the festival – now in its third year – is set to thrill, excite, terrify, educate and enthral movie fans of all ages as it covers most genres of filmaking.

After a successful inaugural event in 2015, organisers built on the success last year and for 2017 have attracted submissions from filmmakers based in 28 different countries.

The Place will be converted into a celebration of short film for the event, featuring displays of the films being shown and acting as a hub for movie fans, filmmakers and organisers of the event, Sunderland City Council.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “As our City of Culture 2021 bid begins to gain real momentum, it is fantastic to see Sunderland Shorts Film Festival becoming a staple of the cultural calendar.

“The Place puts the festival in the heart of one of Sunderland’s most creative quarters and I genuinely hope that as Sunderland Shorts continues to grow and attract more film submissions, this venue can provide the hub of operations for years to come.”

While the aim of organisers is to provide a platform for these ground-breaking short films and to excite Sunderland movie buffs with the array of talent on offer, audiences can also vote for their favourite, with awards being handed for the best international film, best UK, best regional, jury choice and audience favourite.

Anne Tye, festival director, said: “The Place is the perfect venue for Sunderland Shorts. It’s a cool, cultural hub. It’s large enough to accommodate people, but small enough to provide an intimate setting and it is in the heart of a city that is increasingly embracing the arts and culture scene.

“I implore anyone who has never attended a short film screening to come along and find out what you’re missing out on. Over the course of an hour and a half, you may see six to nine different movies, all heartfelt, all unique and all delivering genuine emotional punch.”

John Seager, chief executive of Siglion, which owns and operates The Place, as well as a number of business and industrial spaces across the city, said: “We are excited to be able to host Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, and welcome some of the world’s most creative minds to our stunning city.

“We have hosted screenings in the past, but to be the headquarters for the whole of the 2017 event is fantastic and something we are very much looking forward to.”

Sunderland Shorts Film Festival was created after organisers Sunderland City Council witnessed the success of Washington DC’s prestigious and internationally renowned short film festival, DC Shorts. Sunderland works in partnership with the US capital, thanks to the links with Washington Old Hall, and not only has it helped inspire Sunderland Shorts, it has also generated inward investment, with US businesses choosing to locate to Sunderland, thanks to the connection the cities share.

For more information about Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, and for an up-to-date list of events and information on tickets, please visit